29 June 2005
GINSBERG, Allen (1926-1997). Howl and Other Poems. Introduction by William Carlos Williams. City Lights Pocket Poets Series, no. 4. San Francisco: City Lights Bookshop, 1956.
12o. Original black-and-white printed wrappers (some pale dampstaining); red cloth slipcase.
A DEDICATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY GINSBERG TO LUCIEN CARR on the title-page: "For Lucien to whom this poem was written After Decades Love Allen Ginsberg." ALSO INSCRIBED BY WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS on the Dedication leaf: "William Seward Burroughs Is everybody mad? Christmas 1978." AND INSCRIBED BY CARL SOLOMON, the dedicatee of the title poem, at the head of the introduction by Williams, "Howl for Carl Solomon": "Carl Solomon Noo?" "Howl for Carl Solomon" originally appeared in mimeographed format in 1955 in an edition of 50 copies. This first published edition, adding further poems, such as the remarkable "A Supermarket in California" and "Sunflower Sutra," was published in an edition of 1,000 copies.
Ginsberg dedicated his first regularly published book to Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady and Lucien Carr. Ginsberg met Carr (1925-2005) as an undergraduate at Columbia, and it was Carr who introduced the young poet to Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, after which the group grew to include Herbert Huncke, John Clellon Holmes and Neal Cassady. The presentations in this copy probably date to Christmas 1978, a time when Carr was firmly established as a journalist at the United Press International. Though he remained close to his Beat brethren, Carr did not like being mentioned in their books, and asked Ginsberg to remove his name from the dedication of later editions of Howl and Other Poems.
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